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Roscoe Mitchell / Matthew Shipp: Accelerated Projection

Read "Accelerated Projection" reviewed by John Sharpe

Here's one from the vaults that still retains currency. This duo recital captures pianist Matthew Shipp and reedman Roscoe Mitchell in concert at the 2005 Sant'Anna Arresi festival in Sardinia. Shipp has enjoyed a lengthy association with the veteran Art Ensemble of Chicago founder, documented on This Dance For Steve McCall (Black Saint, 1992) and Nine To Get Ready (ECM, 1999). Even though the pianist has since forged a successful career as leader, the pair--who can be counted among the ...

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Roscoe Mitchell: Accelerated Projection

Read "Accelerated Projection" reviewed by Don Phipps

The level of musicianship exhibited on the Roscoe Mitchell-Matthew Shipp collaboration Accelerated Projection is amazing to behold. Mitchell of course co-founded the influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), which gave birth to many great “free jazz" musicians. He also co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago, a group that has achieved legendary status among many of the jazz intelligentsia. Shipp, a stalwart of the New York City scene, was part of the legendary David S. Ware Quartet and ...

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Ostrava Days 2017

Read "Ostrava Days 2017" reviewed by Martin Longley

Ostrava Days Various Venues Ostrava Czech Republic August 24-30, 2017 A newer breed of industrially-attuned tourism is evident in the city of Ostrava, in the north-east of the Czech Republic, and very close to Poland's border. One of its biggest attractions is the relatively recently retired coal mining and blast furnace complex, which unusually combined the entire digging, coking and ore-ing activities, all in the same area. Since closing down, ...

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Roscoe Mitchell: Discussions

Read "Discussions" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Saxophonist, composer, supreme improviser and a seminal artist for modern times, Roscoe Mitchell's (AACM, Art Ensemble of Chicago) illimitable inventiveness shines forth on this outing that encompasses a 20-piece orchestra, bridging experimentalism and counterbalancing song forms with nouveau classical music applications. The final piece is seemingly derived from a New Orleans slang expression “Who Dat," which is a mind-bending 22-minute opus. Commencing with somber strings and crosscutting percussion patterns, James Fei's synth articulations signal impressions of nature, paralleling ...

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Roscoe Mitchell Trio: Angel City

Read "Angel City" reviewed by John Sharpe

Throughout his career Chicago multi instrumentalist and composer Roscoe Mitchell has forensically examined two key polarities. More than most he has focused on the tensions between sound and silence and composition and improvisation. On Angel City, a continuous 55-minute opus recorded over two days in 2012 at Mills College in Oakland where Mitchell is professor of music, the interaction between those opposites defines the new work. Alongside Mitchell, fellow faculty members reedman James Fei and percussionist William Winant prove able ...

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Roscoe Mitchell/Tony Marsh/John Edwards: Improvisations

Read "Improvisations" reviewed by John Sharpe

Not content with existence as a cutting edge venue for experimental music of all kinds, London's Cafe Oto has also launched its own record label OTOroku, documenting some of the stellar performances in the space. For their sixth release, they have selected material drawn from a 2 day residency by renowned AACM and Art Ensemble of Chicago reedman Roscoe Mitchell. In a continuation of a favorite Oto tactic of matching acclaimed guests with the cream of local improvisers, Mitchell meets ...

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Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: Live At "A Space" 1975

Read "Live At "A Space" 1975" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The Canadian label Sackville released a series of exceptional albums throughout its forty plus year existence. A fair number of these document free-jazz concerts by American luminaries that took place in its hometown of Toronto. When the company folded, Chicago based Delmark purchased its Avant-Garde catalogue and has released expanded versions of these records on CD.One such gem is reedman Roscoe Mitchell's Live At 'A Space' 1975 now augmented with 20 minutes of previously unissued material. Mitchell, known ...

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Roscoe Mitchell: Three Compositions

Read "Three Compositions" reviewed by John Sharpe

On Three Compositions, veteran Chicago saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell's scores are interpreted by an established grouping with an AACM lineage, namesake flautist Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, unlike his previous album of written material, Numbers (Rogue Art, 2011), which featured a varied cast of contemporary players. It makes all the difference. This performance was one of three by the flautist's band at the 2009 edition of Sardinia's Sant' Anna Arresi jazz festival, and is captured here in sparkling clarity. Mitchell's subtle ...

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Roscoe Mitchell: Numbers

Read "Numbers" reviewed by John Sharpe

What's the difference between composition and improvisation once the music has been committed to disc? At that point even the wildest flights of fancy become fixed and immutable, able to be reheated and pored over at leisure. One difference may lie in the notation-defying musical characteristics integral to the finest improvisations: continual variation of tone and timbre and a high degree of rhythmic complexity. This distinction could apply to expositions by reeds or strings, but it becomes less pertinent for ...

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Roscoe Mitchell: London, England, March 9, 2012

Read "Roscoe Mitchell: London, England, March 9, 2012" reviewed by John Sharpe

Roscoe MitchellCafé OtoLondonMarch 9, 2012 Saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell followed an increasingly well trod path. Dalston's Cafe Oto has a strong track record in bringing great names from the free jazz past to the north London stage, with previous guest artists including trumpeters Wadada Leo Smith and Ted Daniel, and saxophonists Joe McPhee, John Tchicai, Sonny Simmons and Arthur Doyle. Now added to that illustrious roster was a two-day residency for the reedman and ...

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Roscoe Mitchell and The Note Factory: Far Side

Read "Far Side" reviewed by Charles Walker

In his recent book about the AACM, A Power Stronger Than Itself (University of Chicago, 2007), trombonist/composer/critic George Lewis makes a serious, thoroughly researched argument for its members creating their own lineage of American “experimental music," influenced as much by pan-African musics or juke joint jam sessions as by European high art music, and yet beholden to none of those idioms exclusively. As a result, for the critic or historian, it has always been difficult to even know how to ...

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Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory: Far Side

Read "Far Side" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Roscoe Mitchell's Far Side, with its theatrical quality, could easily function as a soundtrack to a modernist play. The beginning of the first and longest piece, “Far Side/Cards/Far Side," is reminiscent of the works of 20th century composers like Alfred Schnitke and Arvo Pärt, in the ominous sea of notes pouring out of the dual pianos and basses that buoy Mitchell's breathy and urgent alto sound. As Mitchell's saxophone grows stronger and clearer, the strings give way ...


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